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The term histiocytes refers to specialized types of stationary macrophages that remain in particular body tissues rather than the bloodstream. Histiocytes are called also connective tissue macrophages.
Histiocytes are found in many organs and connective tissues, including alveoli of the lung, brain, breast tissue, epidermal tissues, liver, lymph nodes, placenta, serous cavities, spleen, tonsils, and may have special names (see: macrophages). Benign or malignant histiocytic disorders arise from excessive proliferation of these cell types. The functional activities of histiocytes may differ, depending upon their anatomical location. For multinucleated histiocytes see: Touton giant cells. For foamy histiocytes (foamy macrophages) see: foam cells.
For other entries pertaining to hematopoiesis see also the Hematology Dictionary section of this encyclopedia.
For related information of interest see also: Cell types, Cell lines in Cytokine Research, Cell culture.
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ENTRY LAST MODIFIED: January 2004
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